One of my favorite things to watch every year is HBO'S Hard Knocks. This year, the Browns get the "honor" of being highlighted. While I enjoy the new player dynamics, and what is behind the curtains of an NFL team, one thing stuck out. Christian Kirksey stood up in a team meeting and urged his fellow players to write down their why. Why do they play football? Is it Family? Money? Love of the game? It got me thinking. Why do I pursue Photography? Why do I want to do this for a living?
It all started when I saved seven puppies from an oncoming car, barreling down a hill, by fixing the brake line, as I dove into the street. Now this is completely false, but I think sometimes people force their "why" to be for a noble cause. While I strive to do good, I don't think that should be the only thing that motivates someone. It just needs to be something that drives you and makes you go that extra mile.
For example, one of my reasons why is, flat out, I am good at this! In the past I have had confidence issues, but when it comes to photography, that seems to melt away. I constantly get to challenge myself, and have the confidence and drive to meet them head on. While this may not be altruistic in nature. It drives me to improve and to keep going through those hard times when I'm not feeling creative or don't have the energy to create.
This is one of the first pictures I ever took with my camera. I got such a positive response from people that it really gave me a boost the boost of confidence I needed to continue my pursuit of photography.
As I began pursuing this hobby as a business, I did a lot of research. One of the things I saw and experienced was that people were looking for the camera to create a persona, to give the viewer of the photograph a fantastical viewpoint. Heavy editing and smoothing. I wasn't a fan. At first I thought it might be me not wanting to do hard work. But I realized it wasn't that I didn't want to, or couldn't do, all that editing. It was because I wanted people to feel beautiful or amazing for who they were. I heavily invest in the idea of inner beauty and how it effects the way you view life.
This is my good friend Meghan. She is one FANTASTIC person. We met playing various games at Odyssey Games in Kalamazoo. She did some awesome artwork for me and in exchange I took some portraits for her. Early in the session, I could sense she seemed reserved, almost in a shell. Sometimes I use my experience as a stand-up comedian to loosen up the subject of my photos. Yet I could feel something was different. I wanted to show her the beauty that I saw in her.
I showed her this picture and the rest of the session was a breeze. Seeing her become empowered when she saw what I saw, is the reason why I do photography. I love showing people that they are beautiful, they are amazing, they are Incredible! Being yourself is the greatest beauty in the world and I love being able to help people show that off.
Here are some of my favorite portraits that embody the character of the person! Next time I want to talk about how moments, emotions, and color continue to inspire my why! What is your why?
Thanks for all the Likes, Love, and Shares!